Felines on the Prowl

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrleaders' Office

Office and retreat, this is the domain of Xanadu's Weyrleaders. The door is in the eastern wall, quite close to the southern end while the northern wall is dominated by big, expansive windows, framed by sumptuous deep blue drapes edged with a brilliant gold braid and tied back with a thick rope of braided gold and blue cord. In between, the eastern wall is covered floor to ceiling with shelves that house all sorts of records, manuals and supplies that are used on a day-to-day basis. The southern wall has the Weyrleader's desk — plain fellis wood, well polished and masculine. From behind his desk, the Weyrleader can look straight through the windows and out onto the main airspace of Xanadu. The western wall is where the Weyrwoman's desk resides: a lovely piece of furniture made of warm cherry wood. From her seat, a glance sideways gives her an equally good prospect out the window. There are a few other seats, some comfortably arranged around a low round table for small, informal meetings while there also some that can be drawn up to one of the desks.
On the south side of the door, the space is occupied by a low oblong table where refreshments can be set without someone needing to intrude. There is also an 'incoming' tray where incoming correspondence or similar items can be left.

With the summer heat settled heavily over the weyr, windows and shutters alike have been shut, trying to insulate the inner rooms as best as possible, keeping them cool even during the mid afternoon. This afternoon, the bare minimum of lights have been set to chase away the darkness, and Niva is working alone in the semi-cool office, paging through reports from the various wingriders.

There's a quiet commotion outside of the door for a moment before three sturdy knocks finally come at Niva's door. When opened, it will reveal Tenebrous standing there, a startled-looking aide behind him. Perhaps different from his previous visits, his hood will be back and down, bringing his face into full view. It's not the face that stood here six months ago. The hair is a little lighter, the skin evenly tanned, and blue eyes no longer comb the room for points of escape. Instead, they stare right back, waiting.

Somewhat used to people causing trouble in the office hallway, its not until the knocks that Niva even takes notes, offering a 'yes' in acknowledgement, finishing her page of reading before turning. Its a startled look that appears on her face as she realizes exactly who is there, blinking a few times before she regains her composure. "Healer Tenebrous." She says with a nod, motioning to a chair, letting him speak on his own time.

Tenebrous paces into the room slowly, his bootfalls making only quiet noises on the ground. "Just a Fetch," he murmurs in reply, leaving hers just long enough to look around. Then he looks back at Niva, resting hands on the back of the chair offered. "I'll be brief. You have Felines in your forest, far closer than they ranged when the seasons turned this way last year."

Niva tsks a little, shaking her head just as she does every time he tries to correct her. However, at his news, her face falls, and she turns to look at the map of the coverage area settled prominently on the wall nearby. "How close is close?" She dares ask, eying the pins the mark holdings and hunting camps, before she drags her gaze back to him. "Two days out? Three?"

Tenebrous spreads his hands. "It's hard to say." He moves over to the wall slowly before pointing a finger at a patch of forest close to the spine of the mountains, to the west. "By my reckoning, Stormhaven, my home, is here. Not far from here, the ground cuts away harshly, to this area." He makes another motion, just to the side, and slightly north. "No one in their right mind usually travels this part of the forest, because it's a death trap for the unaware. Bad footing, steep inclines, poor visibility." He draws a slow circle with that finger. "There's an area of land here that's known as The Clutch. It's a massive, dried out stream-bed that leads to a ravine. That's where I found the tracks. They were a few days old…" Then he turns to glance over at her. "But they shouldn't have been there at all."

Fingers tap the desk as she turns in her chair, eyes following his path to the map, taking note of the indicated region before she's moving to mark both Stormhaven and the Clutch with pins, one red, one blue, before studying them more closely. A frown lingers on her face, a soft sigh, and she returns to her desk to retrieve the reports, lifting them. "That, with these, mean we may have a problem." She offers simply, leaning against her desk and lifting one hand to cushion her forehead. "Thank you, Tenebrous."

Tenebrous watches her move back to her desk, raising an eyebrow. "It seems like all I ever do is bring odd news to this place," he murmurs. Then he glances back at the map. "My apprentice and I can make the run from Stormhaven to the Weyr's outskirts in less than a day, but I know we don't travel in a straight line all the time." He turns from the map to move back to one of those chairs, finally allowing himself to sit down into it with a grateful little sigh. "It would take longer for…" He smiles apolagetically. "Shall we say, other people, to make that trip. I know the woods, and my apprentice is certainly no stranger. Most of it is enclosed, Weyrwoman. Draconic traffic might extend to the edge of the Deep Wood, but there's no room for the beasts once inside. It would be suicide to hike one in." He presses his lips together for a moment before offering his next item up in a quiet voice. "Stormhaven is…close to where the tracks are, and dragons…have landed there before." It's an offer, albeit a very, very reluctant one.

"There've been reports - last turn, the litters were larger from the abundance of tamed herds that were lost in the storms. Holders have complained about attacks on livestock, but I was not aware they were so close." She sighs, shaking her head. "For.. now that will not be neccesary. There must be a better plan, I don't fancy the odds of any number of people verses a pack of felines." The Weyrwoman straightens up as the reports are returned with a thunk to the desk.

Tenebrous raises a hand in caution. "I don't know how well your people know their craft, Weyrwoman, and I don't mean to inpugne them…but the forest is a far different hunting ground than the plains. We are there because nature allows us to be there, not the other way around. The felines have almost ever advantage there."

"We'll not simply rush in, I assure you. Its not a risk I wish to take, nor do I wish blood on my hands. I'll.. I'll put in some requests, to those who deal with them more regularly." She shakes her head, glancing once more at the marks on the map. "Perhaps, in the end, we'll win."

Tenebrous stands slowly. "I wish you luck in your endeavours then." He slides the chair back in and adds, "I travel frequently now, and with my apprentice injured, I may be a few days away from this place. But…before so many changes, Xanadu was my home. My apprentice will know how to reach me, should you require my services."

"I promise, I won't let riders barge into your home without warning - its the least I can do in return for the information." She nods, before offering gratefully, 'Thank you'. Settling back down in her seat, she nods once more. "Do… enjoy some of the benefits of the Weyr, before you go, and have Hisolda pack you traveling rations."

Tenebrous nods once in thanks to her words before making his way to the door before looking over his shoulder. "One…last word of caution, Weyrwoman. It would not do to have those unaccustomed to the ways of the forest wandering in her arms alone. I would not bring it to your attention, except that I see it happening more and more frequently. Even I do not wander in her depths at night alone, if I can help it."

Niva had already begun reading again when his parting words catch her attention and she turns to look over her shoulder, nodding slowly. "Most.. Most definitely." And a bit unsettled, she turns back to her work - though for how long is anyone's guess.

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